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  1. How to Raise Sickle Cell Awareness 365 by Starting a Book Club

    June 18, 2018 by Andrea

    book club

    Tomorrow is World Sickle Cell Day, but the only way to truly make an impact on SCD awareness is to make the efforts ongoing. We've shared a lot of ideas over the past few years about how to do just that, and in celebration of WSCD 2018, we're comin' at you with another one: Start your own book club. 

    But not just any book club. Fill your reading list with sickle cell-related fiction and nonfiction and your membership roster with warriors and non warriors. We've even compiled a few selection options to get you started. Once you've settled on those preliminaries, it's time to solicit input from founding members to decide how many people you'd like to have in your club and how often you all should meet. Will you gather monthly? Quarterly? Bi-monthly? Who will host each meeting and where? Will you rotate members' houses or meet in a public place? How will you determine what books to read next? 

    To kick things off, the book club's founder can select the first book; or, they can send a survey with a narrowed down list of choices to current members, and read the winning pick. Then, when it's time for the first meeting, that session's host/hostess can lead the group through spirited discussion, keeping the following topics in mind: 

    1) Overall thoughts on the book
    2) How effective the book was conveying its message
    3) Whether anyone learned anything new
    4) Themes/motifs, etc. 

    Picking up a book club journal will help with discussion, as well as provide a fun record of all the books you and your group read, making it easy for everyone to share recommendations with friends and family. 

    For more information about book clubs, check out the website for National Reading Group Month. The actual month is October, but this resource is available 365.

  2. World Sickle Cell Day 2018 Awareness Campaigns You Can Start Now

    June 6, 2018 by Andrea

    world sickle cell day 2018

    June 19 is World Sickle Cell Day, but you don't have to wait until then to show your support and help raise awareness. Here are a few examples of what others are already doing leading up to World Sickle Cell Day 2018 to inspire you. 

    It's a good idea to stick to one major fundraiser each year, but you can host mini ones once per quarter, so as not to wear out the donors you seek. Just in time for the approach of World Sickle Cell Day 2018, the Sickle Cell Society recently shared this Fundraising A-Z chart developed by LocalGiving.


    Kids are naturally curious and inventive, so use that as you begin teaching children who may not know what SCD is. Then, ask them to come up with fun ways to help spread the word and get their friends in on the action, too. A group of seventh graders recently came up with the idea to wear red tape. 


    Some have begun a campaign to encourage people to wear red and black for the entire month of June, rather than just one day, to help raise awareness of sickle cell. Join them by wearing your red and black, sharing your selfies, and urging others to do the same. 

  3. World Sickle Cell Day and Beyond: Creative Ways to Raise Awareness

    June 19, 2017 by Andrea
    Photo: CreateHER Stock

    Photo: CreateHER Stock

    World Sickle Cell Day (and also Juneteenth) is here again, and like every year, people come up with various ways of celebrating and raising awareness. Some wear red, some host workshops, and most get active on social media -- sharing how they've chosen to observe the day. See below for a few of our favorite out-of-the-box ideas:

    A Sweet Salute
    They say the way to a person's heart is through their stomach. That's why some warriors and supporters have chosen to educate their communities via baked goodies like these. Like this idea? Check out other options here and here.

    Sickle Cell Series
    As a journalist and filmmaker, Wana Udobang helps raise awareness through the stories she tells. For World Sickle Cell Day, she's created a series called "Warriors," which features four video interviews of people living with SCD. Watch the first video below.

    Inspiring Images
    Across the pond in London at the University College Hospital MacMillan Cancer Centre, "Seeing Red" -- an exhibition of photos taken by sickle cell warriors -- debuts today. According to UCLH, the photography is the culmination of the work the warriors did during narrative therapy pilot workshops.

    Have you seen any other creative ways to spread the word about sickle cell? Share them in the comments below!

  4. These Sickle Cell Awareness Posters are Clever, Funny, and Just What the Movement Needs

    July 5, 2016 by Andrea

    Ever wonder what plugs and sockets and video game controllers and consoles have to do with sickle cell awareness? Well, wonder no more because OluwaLatte and crew have used those images -- and more -- in a campaign they created for World Sickle Cell Day.

    Incorporating clever illustrations with the simple question, "Is Your Love Compatible?" these artists have developed a new way of engaging people of all ages and getting them to seriously consider the importance of knowing their genotype. While specifically created for World Sickle Cell Day and for a Nigerian audience (each image states, "Nigeria accounts for the highest number of sickle cell births annually in the world."), it is clear that these images can be used for any SCD awareness campaign around the world.

    Perhaps, you could reach out to OluwaLatte and collaborate on your next sickle cell educational venture. For real, this is the kind of thing we need to see go viral.

    Twitter | @OluwaLatte

    Twitter | @OluwaLatte


    Twitter | @OluwaLatte

    Twitter | @OluwaLatte


    Twitter | @OluwaLatte

    Twitter | @OluwaLatte


    Twitter | @OluwaLatte

    Twitter | @OluwaLatte


    Which illustration is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!

  5. How People Plan to Celebrate World Sickle Cell Day Around the World

    June 14, 2016 by Andrea
    Photo: CreateHer Stock

    Photo: CreateHer Stock

    World Sickle Cell Day is Sunday, just six days away. Here are just a few examples of how warriors all over the world are planning to celebrate and raise awareness:

    Presented by the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation, several events will be held in various parts of the country. Examples of these events include free genotype testing and genetic counseling, visits to sickle cell warriors in hospitals, awareness walks, art exhibit, and more. Plus, there will be a companion social media campaign, so that others outside of Nigeria can also participate.

    While there will be hundreds of events across the 50 states, we'll be highlighting one in Michigan for this post. Hosted by the Michigan Chapter of the SCDAA, "High 5 for Sickle Cell" will be a campaign focused on educating people about five facts and myths related to sickle cell disease. As the Michigan Chronical reports, the five items to be addressed are as follows: pain, lifespan, trait, treatment, and race.

    This year, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada is taking action by setting up blood drives throughout the country. Click here to learn how to register yourself (along with your family and friends!) and find a clinic near you.

    It's all about a day of family fun to raise awareness for SCD in Wolverhampton. This third annual World Sickle Cell Day event, held at Hickman Park in Bilston, will include a host of games, refreshments, live music, raffle prizes, and more!

    What events are going on near you? Leave the info in teh comments below for others to see and join!

  6. 4 Campaigns You Should Join For World Sickle Cell Day

    June 15, 2015 by Andrea
    Photos: Twitter

    Photos: Twitter

    World Sickle Cell Day is Friday (June 19), and as you know, this day is extremely important to the sickle cell community -- warriors, family, and other supporters -- because it gives us an official chance to bring awareness to this disease globally. Educating the entire world may seem like a daunting task, but when you join with others who have the same cause, you can really make a difference. That's why we're bringing you a round-up of four virtual campaigns to join this year. Put all of your efforts toward one or split your campaigning among all of them! 

    1) #KnowYourGenotype
    The movement behind this hashtag is that everyone should have their blood tested before marriage and/or before having children, so partners can be aware of each other's sickle cell status (or lack thereof). This can help prevent more sickle cell births, thus working toward an eventual future of SCD eradication. To join, simply post your sickle cell status and/or your SS type to Twitter and tag #KnowYourGenotype.

    2) #BoldLipsForSickleCell
    Like ALS's ice bucket challenge, SCD's #BoldLipsForSickleCell campaign can easily go viral -- but to make it do so, we've got to show support and get our friends and family to, as well. Joining this crusade is simple -- and fun! All you have to do is take a selfie of you (or of you and your friends) rockin' a bold lip color, upload your selfie to social media, and tag it #BoldLipsForSickleCell.

    3) #SpeakOnSickleCellObama 
    Let POTUS know how important it is that he speak out on SCD in support of World Sickle Cell Day by tweeting and retweeting #SpeakOnSickleCellObama. Doing so several times a day -- especially on June 19 -- will flood his mentions with a powerful message he surely cannot ignore.

    4) #SleevesUp 
    The American Red Cross makes it easy to start your own virtual #SleevesUp campaign -- or to join one that already exists. Just visit this website, create your campaign, and invite your friends/family/social media community to pledge their support by promising to donate blood to sickle cell warriors. 

    Which of these campaigns are you planning to join? We'd love to see how you help spread awareness this World Sickle Cell Day. When you tag your campaign, also tag @XickleRBC so we can highlight your efforts, as well! 

  7. 7 Times Instagram Kept It Real About #SickleCellProblems

    June 1, 2015 by Andrea

    We all know that sickle cell disease is in desperate need of widespread awareness. As World Sickle Cell Day approaches, we wanted to take some time out to recognize the warriors and bring to light how many of them feel on a regular basis -- and what better way to do that than to hear from the warriors themselves through the power of social media?


    When this is what you mean by "rollin' with your crew":




    When your sickle cell pain is past the point of those everyday pills:



    When people tell you that you don't look sick:




     When you feel a sickle cell crisis about to happen:




    When you realize it's the little things in life that make you happy:




    When the pain comes out of nowhere:



    And last, but not least, when you remember that you're a warrior and SCD messed with the wrong one:




  8. Your World Sickle Cell Day Bucket List

    May 26, 2015 by Andrea
    Photo: Flickr/scooterdmu via CC BY 2.0

    Photo: Flickr/scooterdmu via CC BY 2.0


    Juneteenth isn't the only thing we have to celebrate each year on June 19 -- it's also World Sickle Cell Day. Honoring this date, which commemorates the day back in 2008 on which the United Nations officially declared sickle cell disease as a public health concern, comes in many forms. Some people participate in awareness walks, some people take to social media, and others sell goods to raise funds for more research. While thinking about the many different ways people all over the world can observe World Sickle Cell Day this year, we came across this post by Sickle Cell 101, which provides some amazing ideas that are easy to get involved in. Check out some of our favorites below and then be sure to visit the full post for even more inspiration. 

    --Change your username on your social media accounts (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to “(Your name) fights Sickle Cell”. An example of a username on Instagram would be @cass_fights_sicklecell. If do not have Sickle Cell but would like to help raise awareness, you can substitute and think of a creative name so people can learn about Sickle Cell.

    --Make and post a video explaining what Sickle Cell is and how it affects you. Post this video of Sickle Cell on your Instagram account, Facebook page, YouTube etc,

    --Repost Sickle Cell facts you find on the internet or on social media platforms. If you have trouble finding Sickle Cell facts, check out Sickle Cell 101’s Facebook page and/or their Instagram account (@SickleCell101)

    --Wear your Sickle Cell gear wherever you go… To the store, to work, to school, anywhere! There is no better time to wear your Sickle Cell accessories and clothes.(Click here to get your Sickle Cell awareness jewelry.)

    --Get a group of your friends together and educate your friends about the disease. Many of them probably already know the basics and what you’ve told them, but allow a Q&A session after presenting your information. Allow them to ask any questions they want to better understand the disease.

    We love how simple, yet meaningful, each of these ideas is. Also, since sickle cell affects 1 out of every 500 African Americans, having a combination celebration of Juneteenth and World Sickle Cell Day would be perfect! At your cookout or parade, rock your sickle cell awareness shirts, decorate with sickle cell awareness balloons, screen a sickle cell movie or documentary, collect donations from family and friends at your celebration, and have an open dialogue while everyone is in the same place. 

    How do you plan to recognize World Sickle Cell Day this year?


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